Baby Safeguards – Safe Sleep, Vaccinations

From an interview with
Dr. Meghan Jordan
McLeod Pediatric Associates of Florence – West

Two of the most important actions a parent can take is to keep a new child safe is by following the guidelines for Safe Sleep and see they receive scheduled vaccinations, McLeod Pediatrician Dr. Meghan Jordan explains.

Here is an overview of Dr. Jordan’s comments:
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS as it’s often called, is when young infants typically under the age of 12 months, die in their sleep without a known cause. There are some ways to help decrease your risk for SIDS. The primary way to is to place your baby in a safe sleep environment. It’s very important that you place your baby to sleep on their back, especially before they can roll over. You can swaddle or wrap the baby in a blanket in the early months before the infant can rollover. But once they start rolling, make sure the baby’s arms are no longer restricted in a blanket.
An easy way to remember how to put your baby to sleep safely are the “ABCs” of Safe Sleep. Those stand for Alone, on your Back and in a Crib, bassinet or Pack ‘N Play.  It needs to be a flat, firm surface, where you’re able to place the baby on their back in the crib without any stuffed animals, fluffy blankets or anything that could get in the way of their breathing during their sleep.

Your baby should not sleep in your bed (also called co-sleeping or co-bedding). Your baby is not strong enough to hold his/her head flat on an adult bed. As a result, your baby is at an increased risk of bending their neck, which blocks their windpipe. In addition, an adult in deep sleep can roll over on the baby, causing suffocation.
Babies should sleep on their backs, avoiding chances for their mouths and noses becoming buried in bedding. They can get plenty of “tummy time” when awake, playful and monitored by an adult or a trained sitter.
Again, no adult beds, chairs or couches for baby sleep time. A safety-approved crib with a firm mattress and tight-fitting sheet is recommended. A bassinet or pack-n-play are also approved sleeping furniture. Keep in mind that the bassinet should be discontinued once the baby can attempt to roll over.
Always place your baby on his/her back for every sleep time – during the day and at night.
Remove all loose bedding, blankets, stuffed animals, bumper pads, wedges, and pillows from your baby’s crib to maintain an uncluttered sleeping area. Also, make sure there are no light or blind cords within reach of the crib that could tangle or choke the baby. Avoid overheating by keeping the room temperature at a comfortable setting for you.
Safe Sleep Class
Each month, McLeod Safe Kids Pee Dee/Coastal offers a Safe Sleep education course, providing families with education designed to help decrease the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and accidental death of infants while sleeping. For a registered attendee and one guest, the Safe Sleep education course is free of charge. Please call McLeod Reservations and Scheduling at (843) 777-2005 or 1-800-667-2005 for a schedule of upcoming classes or to register.

Getting your child vaccinated is another important way to keep them safe as they grow up.

There are many preventable illnesses for which there are vaccines on the Center for Disease Control’s vaccine schedule from birth to age 18. Some of those illnesses include mumps, measles, rubella, whooping cough, chicken pox, diphtheria, and polio, among others.  Thanks to those vaccines, we rarely see those almost diseases anymore.

It’s very important that your child is vaccinated on time, based on CDC guidelines. The vaccines are extremely safe and have been studied for years to show that they are not only effective, but also safe. And so we definitely recommend that your child be vaccinated.

Find a Pediatrician near you.